Dietary intake and peripheral arterial disease incidence in middle-aged adults: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Rachel P. Ogilvie, Pamela L Lutsey, Gerardo Heiss, Aaron R Folsom, Lyn M Steffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a costly source of morbidity and mortality among older persons in the United States. Dietary intake plays a role in the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; however, few studies have examined the relation of food intake or dietary patterns with PAD. Objective: We examined the relation between habitual dietary intake at midlife and incident PAD over ∼ 20 y of follow-up. Design: Among 14,082 participants enrolled in the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) Study initially free of PAD, dietary intake was assessed at baseline in 1987-1989 by using a modified Harvard food-frequency questionnaire. Food groups were created, and principal components analysis was used to develop "healthy" and "Western" dietary patterns; both were categorized into quintiles or quartiles. Incident PAD was determined by an ankle-brachial index < 0.9 assessed at 2 subsequent examinations and hospital discharge codes through 2012. Multivariate-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression was used. Results: During a mean follow-up of 19.9 y, 1569 participants developed incident PAD. In models adjusted for demographic characteristics, behaviors, and food groups, the HRs (95% CIs) for incident PAD increased across quintiles of meat consumption [quintile 1: reference, quintile 2: 1.38 (1.16, 1.65), quintile 3: 1.38 (1.16, 1.65), quintile 4: 1.45 (1.20, 1.74), quintile 5: 1.66 (1.36, 2.03); P-trend < 0.001]. Compared with those who drank no alcohol, those who had 1-6 drinks/wk had a lower risk of incident PAD [0.78 (0.68, 0.89)]. For coffee, ≥4 cups/d compared with none was inversely associated with incident PAD [quintile 5 compared with quintile 1: 0.84 (0.75, 1.00); P-trend = 0.014]. There was no association between other food groups or patterns and incident PAD. Conclusions: In this prospective cohort study, greater meat consumption was associated with a higher risk, and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of incident PAD. Whether these associations are causal remains to be seen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-659
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts HHSN268201100005C, HHSN268201100006C, HHSN268201100007C, HHSN268201100008C, HHSN268201100009C, HHSN268201100010C, HHSN268201100011C, and HHSN268201100012C and grant T32-HL-007779.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society for Nutrition.


  • Alcohol
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dietary patterns
  • Food groups
  • Meat
  • Peripheral arterial disease


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